Berlin Philharmonic is auditioning amateur musicians

Berlin Philharmonic is auditioning amateur musicians


norman lebrecht

December 14, 2017

press release:

BE PHIL Orchestra at the Open House in the Philharmonie on 21 May 2018 – a large amateur orchestra plays Brahms’ First Symphony, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle

The Education Programme of the Berliner Philharmoniker calls on all interested amateur musicians to apply for the BE PHIL Orchestra, which will perform during the Open House in the Philharmonie on 21 May 2018. Johannes Brahms’ First Symphony will be presented together with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Karajan Academy under the baton of chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle. Stanley Dodds and other members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will conduct the rehearsals.

We are looking for 100 amateur musicians from all over the world to participate in this event. Applications must be submitted by video from 3 to 10 January 2018 on the project website. A jury made up of musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker will select the members of the BE PHIL Orchestra from the first 1,000 entries. The successful applicants will be announced on 1 February 2018.

The rehearsals and concert will take place in the Berlin Philharmonie from 17 to 21 May 2018. The concert will be broadcast live in the Digital Concert Hall. Complete information is available on the project website:


  • Ungeheuer says:

    Yay! Let’s raise the bar! Let’s turn the fabled Berlin PO into El Sistema! What gives?

    • C Porumbescu says:

      You’ve never played in an amateur orchestra? You’ve never benefitted from coaching from professional players? You’ve never heard of orchestras working to benefit and enrich the wider musical community? You’ve never met a top professional conductor who gets pleasure from working with artists of all abilities?

      No? Then kindly keep your toxic prejudices to yourself. You’re not qualified to comment.

    • Bruce says:

      I admire and agree with your adamant stance on all the posts about abuse allegations, but in this case: What the fuck are you even talking about? You’re inventing something that isn’t happening and then getting mad about it.

    • Aline Silverman says:

      In fact it was AMAZING.After 4 rehearsals these 101 AMATEURS from all over the world who had never played together before became ONE And gave a beautiful performance.

  • Manu says:

    So eine Scheisse…
    Only PR.
    Should focus more on decisions like new chief conductor.

  • BillG says:

    The Baltimore Symphony has been presenting a similar program for about 10 years now. The big difference with the Baltimore is that amateurs sit side by side with members of the BSO.

  • MacroV says:

    Sir Simon has always shown a great enthusiasm for making music with anyone who shares his enjoyment – youth orchestras, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, etc., so this seems a very fitting way to cap his BPO tenure.

    Keep in mind that if they’re actually making people audition, this is likely to be a very good group. As anyone connected to the music world knows, there are far more skilled musicians than orchestras that can accommodate them. So bring on the teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, ditch-diggers; this could be great.

    • Una says:

      Absolutely. They take their music making very seriously and continue to.have lessons. Good for them. Simon Rattle has always been inclusive. We’re looking forward to getting him back to London where amateur music making is not frowned upon but respected.

      • Frederick West says:

        Indeed! I’m reminded here of Hans Keller’s point (in his book ‘Criticism’) where he says something on the lines of (I don’t have it hand but this is the gist of it) – ‘nowhere else does one experience the love of music more than in amateur music-making, even though you may not always hear it’.

  • kuoirad says:

    If it didn’t conflict with the Colorado Mahlerfest I’d take a swing at this…

  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    Outrageous. Next thing you know people will be making music at home, maybe getting their family and friends together to listen or participate. This can only lead to the questioning of authority and standards. There could be dancing.

    It. Must Be. Stopped..

  • Anthea Kreston says:

    I adore this idea!

  • Itsjtime says:

    I adore Anthea Kreston.

  • Chad says:

    This is a cool idea. I would like to play bro, lmao its gonna be lit 🙂